U.S. maternal mortality rate has risen in the past decade, despite global advancements

09/23/16   filed under: health & body, news

maternal mortality, maternal mortality rates, health, maternal health

The United States likes to be known for leading the charge, but newly aggregated and published data shows the U.S. has increased its numbers in one area of which no country would be proud: maternal mortality. Although global death rates have fallen 44% in the past few decades, the maternal deaths in the United States have actually increased from 23 deaths per 100,000 births in 2005 to 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in 2013. While the research group that analyzed the data projects that rate has fallen slightly in the past two years, the increase is disturbing: the U.S. maternal mortality rate is triple what exists in Canada, Spain, or Australia. Separate analyses that were recently completed found that maternal mortality had increased by a whopping 27% for 48 states and the District of Columbia from 2000-2014 and that DC, New Jersey, Georgia, and Arkansas had especially high rates of maternal mortality. Problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity (all of which have reached epidemic level rates) have been linked to the increase in maternal mortality. Although some have argued that race factors into areas including quality of care, accessibility, and related health issues such as obesity, with poor African-American women having higher maternal mortality rates, a public health expert had this to say: “People may think this is happening because the U.S. has more minorities and poor people[…] But even if you limit the analysis to whites, we would still rank behind all other industrialized countries.” Despite being considered a leader in medical breakthroughs and research, the U.S. is one of very few developed and wealthy countries to have seen an increase in maternal mortality rate. We already knew this wasn’t the best place in the world to be a mother, but we hope the U.S. is able to start and sustain a downward trend in this area of crucial importance.

via The New York Times

Image via Unsplash

 

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pledge $3 billion to "cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children's lifetime"

09/23/16   filed under: health & body, kids health, news

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, news, health news, health

Through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, doctor/educator Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to make the world a better place for their nearly one year-old daughter and future generations. As part of this pledge they have come up with an extremely ambitious initiative that also has little Max in mind. The philanthropists announced they would invest three billion dollars over the next ten years to cure, prevent, or manage the world’s diseases during the lifetime of their daughter. Among the first planned efforts include the construction of a $600 million research center that will bring scientists and engineers together, and the hiring of a vetted expert in genetics and neuroscience. The Chan/Zuckerberg family said they will continue to invest more money over coming decades and stress that the initiative is taking the long-view, acknowledging, “it will take years for these tools to be developed and longer to put them into full use.” Citing information that four kinds of diseases cause the majority of all deaths, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative believes that a combined effort between scientists and engineers will lead to technological and scientific breakthroughs than can change how diseases are prevented, treated, and even cured. As there are plenty of rotten diseases in the world today, we wish the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative luck and look forward to the potential of a healthier, brighter future for everyone.

Image via Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page

 

10 ways to raise your son to be an advocate for gender equality

09/23/16   filed under: green family, health & body, parenting

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HOW TO: Make organic apple cider served in apple cups

09/22/16   filed under: baking, food, green family, green kids, green party, healthy recipe, how-to, kid friendly, recipe, recipes, snack, vegetarian, vegetarianism

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Behold this amazing, fully operational Transformer BMW

09/22/16   filed under: kid friendly, kids entertainment

For the Transformer-obsessed child (or kid-at-heart) in your life, the ultimate wish has been granted: a Turkish company managed to adapt a car to act and look remarkably like a real life Transformer. Twelve engineers and four supporting technicians from Letrons worked for eight months to create their first model Transformer, named Antimon. The Transformer, which has been crafted from a BMW, is operated by remote control. Antimon can’t be driven in traffic yet, but we could probably spend several days just watching it make its super cool metamorphosis. The arms and legs and head all pop out in such a way that Antimon could almost be mistaken for a CGI special effect, but it’s actually real! Letrons plans to build new models using different types of cars in the future and is even open to the possibility of adding a walking function if the funding availability should rise. Although we don’t have any information on the cost, we’re sure the value of seeing your friends and neighbors gawk at the Transformer and its totally on-point sound effects in your driveway can be described as “priceless.”

+ Letrons 

via Bored Panda

 

Autumn festival at the Dallas Arboretum features more than 90,000 pumpkins!

09/22/16   filed under: kid friendly, kids entertainment

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The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against the use of codeine to treat coughs or manage pain in kids

09/21/16   filed under: health & body, kids health, news, parenting

health, kids health, codeine, safe medicine

Codeine has been widely used in the past to treat coughs and manage pain in kids, but the drug just received its strongest stamp of disapproval yet. In a statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics with the firmly worded title Codeine: Time to Say “No,” pediatricians are now stating that there is never a reason to use codeine. Citing little evidence that codeine is effective in treating coughs and an increased belief that some children don’t respond to codeine for pain treatment for and after procedures such as tonsillectomies, the group warns consumers that there are documented and dangerous potential side effects to using codeine. In 2013, FDA gave codeine a “black box warning” and in recent years the European Medicines Agency has also recommended against its use for cough, cold, and pain treatment for children under the age of 12 (or between the ages of 12 and 18 for children with breathing issues). Despite these warnings, codeine is available in 28 states and Washington D.C. without a prescription and is also still prescribed by many doctors. Part of the problematic nature of codeine is that the substance is processed or metabolized differently by various groups of people. For example, my daughter was born in Ethiopia, which has a high prevalence of “ultra rapid metabolizers,” determined by certain genotypes. Giving her codeine could cause problematic slowdowns in her breathing despite being given medicine within the “normal range.” As a precaution, the AAP is recommending that codeine not be used in any situation for children and that parents shouldn’t assume that because it is available over the counter it is safe for their child. With cold, cough, and flu season coming up, it’s a warning we should all heed.

+ Statement

via Yahoo!

Lead image via Shutterstock

 

"Erin Brokovich" chemical is contaminating the tap water of more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states

09/21/16   filed under: health & body, kids health, news, toxins

water, contaminated water, chromium-6, health

Remember the Oscar-winning movie Erin Brokovich? It’s the one where Julia Roberts portrays a real-life environmental activist trying to raise awareness about a toxic chemical found in water supplies to help the affected families and communities where the water is poisoning them. It has been 25 years since Brokovich’s work exposed the dangers and prevalence of chromium-6, but the urgency of the message is still apparently not coming through… or at least it’s not being properly addressed. The Environmental Working Group’s analysis of chromium-6 in water systems throughout the United States found that the tap water of more than two-thirds of Americans contains chromium-6 at levels deemed unsafe. More than 200 million Americans in all fifty states have chromium-6 contaminated tap water despite the fact that it has been five years since the EPA determined chromium-6 is “likely to be carcinogenic in humans.” Although the health goal for chromium-6 was set at .02 parts per billion, the much more relaxed legal limit is set at 10 parts per billion. Chromium exposure is linked to lung cancer, liver damage, reproductive harm, and developmental issues. High levels of contamination have been found throughout the country, including Norman, Oklahoma, Honolulu, Hawaii, Madison, Wisconsin and Tallahassee, Florida. One major obstacle in implementing regulation for this chemical comes from a not-so-shocking source: The American Chemistry Council (aka the chemical industry lobby). The American Chemistry Council is apparently conducting its own studies, and has urged the EPA not to decide on regulation until those reports have been finished and published. But don’t mind us until that happens. We’ll just be over here drinking carcinogenic contaminated water (as well as water with dangerous lead levels) and checking to see just how bad the situation is in our local water system via the EWG’s interactive map.

via Environmental Working Group

Lead image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Astronaut hosts live video chat from outer space wearing a hand-painted flight suit created by children with cancer

Astronaut hosts live video chat from outer space wearing a hand-painted flight suit created by children with cancer

A children’s cancer center, a space suit company, and NASA recently teamed up to collaborate on an out-of-this-world project… and the first art exhibit in space. As part of…

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Interlocking Ikos 'blocks' fit together to create spherical shapes

Interlocking Ikos 'blocks' fit together to create spherical shapes

We love seeing varying incarnations of blocks, and Ikos’s plastic puzzle-like pieces (made from 100% recycled & recyclable HDPE), certainly fit the bill for novelty: they…

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8 pick-your-own organic or heirloom apple orchards to visit this apple season

8 pick-your-own organic or heirloom apple orchards to visit this apple season

Photo: Fishkill Farms via Facebook 1. Fishkill Farms, New York Fishkill Farms is a historic orchard that’s been family-owned for around a century. As well as their 40 acres of…

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Kate Kato uses recycled paper to create intricate, lifelike, nature-inspired sculptures

Kate Kato uses recycled paper to create intricate, lifelike, nature-inspired sculptures

Paper is the foundation of Kato’s artistic process, but she incorporates other found and recycled materials and embellishes her sculptures using embroidery to give them a unique,…

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Austrian teen sues her parents for posting private photos of her on Facebook without her permission

Austrian teen sues her parents for posting private photos of her on Facebook without her permission

Before you press post on your latest pic of your tot potty training or playing in the bath, you may want to imagine how she’ll feel about it in fifteen or twenty years. The…

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Pure Poppet natural play makeup, face paint and non-toxic nail polish is safe for kids

Pure Poppet natural play makeup, face paint and non-toxic nail polish is safe for kids

About Pure Poppet Pure Poppet was designed by a mama of two girls who love to dress up and role play. After said mama couldn’t find safe cosmetics for her girls, she developed…

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Eight year-old boy opens a home bakery to earn money to buy his mom a new house

Eight year-old boy opens a home bakery to earn money to buy his mom a new house

Starting a business is a big deal, and the stakes are often high, even when the business owner is still in grade school. Yet, eight year-old Jalen Bailey opened a home bakery and…

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Teen who was bullied at school creates 'Sit With Us' app to help students find a welcoming place to sit at lunch

Teen who was bullied at school creates 'Sit With Us' app to help students find a welcoming place to sit at lunch

A recent viral photograph of a Florida State University football player joining a boy with autism who had been sitting alone at lunch reminded us of how cruel kids can be and that…

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WATCH: Mom's peaceful, poignant water birth video shows the immense beauty & emotion of giving birth

WATCH: Mom's peaceful, poignant water birth video shows the immense beauty & emotion of giving birth

Giving birth should always be as peaceful as mom Audra Lynn makes it look! But we know this video of her water birth captures such a special, rare moment of calm and beauty that often…

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LEGO advent calendars let kids build their way to Christmas Day

LEGO advent calendars let kids build their way to Christmas Day

Christmas is still three months away, but getting some of the shopping out of the way always feels good and helps avoid the yearly harried holiday buying spree. The countdown to…

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